Chris Berendt Staff Writer
August 26, 2013
The Sampson Perspective town hall forum, at which local questions will be answered by lawmakers at the local, state and national level, is slated for Tuesday evening at Sampson Community College.
Local citizens will have the opportunity to meet with the legislators and public officials who represent them, while sharing concerns, comments and questions during the town hall forum sponsored by the Clinton-Sampson Chamber of Commerce. The event will take place at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Sampson Community College Auditorium.
The goal is to target the most pressing concerns for local businesses and the community as a whole.
“The Chamber strives to serve as the voice to our membership, both on a local level and a state level, but also on a national level,” said Janna Bass, executive director for the Chamber, who noted similar opportunities afforded to Chamber officials during their annual trip to the nation’s capitol. “We thought this would be a great way not only for us to have the questions to ask those leaders when we got to Washington, but also a way for them to ask our leaders directly. And from the leaders’ standpoint, we wanted them to know what the citizens and business owners had questions about.”
Leaders who will be in attendance for “Sampson Perspective” include U.S. Congressman Mike McIntyre, D- 7th district; state Sen. Brent Jackson, R- Sampson; state Rep. Larry Bell, D-Sampson; and state Rep. William Brisson, D-Bladen. Sampson County manager Ed Causey, Clinton-Sampson Planning director Mary Rose and interim Clinton city manager and finance director Shawn Purvis will also be present.
Chamber president Michael Chestnutt will be the moderator for the event.
He said the submitted questions — the deadline was Aug. 16 — were to be pre-screened in order not to duplicate or overlap topics, however it is hoped there will be time for some live questions. Chestnutt said, while there have been government roundtable meetings sponsored by the Chamber in the past, this is the first town hall forum session and Chestnutt said he wants to see an open, civil discussion.
“I don’t want it to be a free-for-all,” the Chamber president said. “We want people to be able to ask the questions they feel are pertinent to them. That’s the goal. We want to keep a certain level of decorum. I’m curious to see how it works out.”
Chris Berendt can be reached at 910-592-8137 ext. 121 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.